General powers

General information


The works council is entitled to monitor compliance with the legal provisions applicable to the company's employees. For this purpose, employers must grant the works council the right to inspect the company's internal records pertaining to its employees (e.g. wage and salary lists, staff records).

Moreover, employers must:

  • immediately inform the works council of any occupational accidentsGerman text;
  • invite the works council to participate in company inspections by the authorities or the Labour Inspectorate;
  • inform the works council of scheduled negotiations and the intervention of official bodies.


The works council is entitled to request that employers take measures to remedy any shortcomings with respect to affairs concerning employees' interests. The works council has the right to make proposals on improving working conditions, in-house training, accident prevention and creating a healthy working environment.

General information

Employers have an obligation to report to the works council, upon its request, about any issues pertaining to the economic, social, health-related or cultural interests of the company's employees.

Employers must inform the works council about automated processing of personal employee data, and enable it to verify the reasons for such processing.


It is obligatory for employers to conduct joint consultations with the works council at least every quarter, or every month if requested by the works council, in order to discuss ongoing issues, general management principles with respect to social, staffing, economic and technical matters, and the nature of labour relations in the company, and to inform the works council of any important matters. The works council must be provided with the documents necessary for this consultation, where requested.

Occupational safety

With respect to all aspects of health and safety, employers must in particular:

  • inform the works council of any relevant matters in good time;
  • ask the works council for its opinion in good time;
  • consult with the works council the matters in question;
  • grant the works council access to documents, records and reports.

Furthermore, employers must consult the works council on any planned recruitment or dismissal of safety staff and occupational physicians.

Enterprises affected

Businesses with a works council


The time limits vary depending on the individual obligations.

Legal bases

Sections 89 to 92b of the Arbeitsverfassungsgesetz ( ArbVG)

Expert information

Works councils (→ ÖGB)German text

Translated by the European Commission
Last update: 24 February 2023

Responsible for the content: Federal Ministry of Labour and Economy

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